Keauhou Bay County Park/Kamehameha III Birthplace
A lovely natural harbor backed by volley ball courts, canoe halau and lawn, the park and pier at Keauhou harbor is a lovely place to spend a few moments in quiet contemplation, eat a picnic lunch, or dive into the invitingly cool waters at the end of a hot day.
Along the cliffs fronting the bay is a nature trail planted with native Hawai’ian healing plants with explanatory signs which runs to the birthplace of Kalani Kauikeaouli, who later became King Kamehameha III when his older brother Liholiho (Kamehameha II) died of measles in England. Legend has it that Kalani was still born, but the kahuna attending the royal birth immediately immersed him in the cold waters of a nearby spring, where he was at once revived. There are not many places in America where one can easily walk to the exact birthplace of a King, and this pleasant spot is onesuch, not to be missed.
Numerous charter fishing excursions and the Fairwind Snorkel trips to Kealekekua Bay leave from this Bay.
To reach Keauhou Bay, follow Kaleiopapa St. from either of its intersections with Ali’i Drive between the 5 and 6 mile markers. Full facilities include showers, restrooms, drinking water, picnic tables, volleyball courts and a boat ramp.
Ohi’a Lava Tube Caves/Kona Coast Scenic Overlook
This scenic pullout, overlooking the Kona Coastline from Keauhou Bay north past Kailua Bay to Keahole Point, is one of the best places to watch sunset in all of Kona. It’s also a grand spot for spotting whale spouts, watching canoe races and just generally taking in the Kona ambience.
Directly below the scenic overlook are the numerous entrances, skylights and pits associated with the Ohia Lava Tube cave complex. Before European contact, these caves were a hub of activity and socialization for the native Hawai’ians. Used at various times as general living quarters, shade during the blazing summers and cover from infrequent storms, springs deep with in the caves also augmented scarce supplies of fresh water for Kona residents. The caves also served as places for sacred ritual and burial of important Ali’i.
Today, exploration of the caves is unsafe and unsavory due to an element of homeless people and criminal activity here. Additionally, most of the accessible entrances are gated or sealed; visitors are asked to refrain from entering the caves to preserve the sanctity of native burials.
Produced by Donnie MacGowan; narrated by Carmen Kinsey and Frank Burgess.